I drove 30 minutes away to meet him for our first date at a Thai restaurant. As always, I couldn’t find a parking spot. I was making my second loop around when I saw a man with a glistening earring and a button down shirt standing there. I thought nothing else besides, that must be him. I stopped my car, rolled down my window and asked him if he knew where to park. He pulled my car door open. When he realized it was locked, he stuck his hand inside my open window and tried to unlock it himself. He jumped into my car and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I could distinctively hear his heavy breathing. I couldn’t make eye contact.
I was sure to take notes in my mind. He was assertive. Kind of pushy. Not sure how I felt about that but I kind of enjoyed having someone guide me to a place to park my car. It was like someone else was doing the thinking for me and it was a nice change. We got out of the car and walked to the restaurant. He had a young voice. Kind of high pitched. He walked with both feet pointed out to the side. It looked like he was wearing very dirty sneakers that may have once been fully black. I didn’t want to stare.
As we continued to walk next to one another I noticed that he was really nice. I kept thinking of how incredibly nice he was to me. I was feeling more comfortable already. I wasn’t even nervous. That’s a first for me. We sat down to eat and he told me I’m gorgeous. Our conversation flowed with ease. I looked at this cute, chubby cheeked, hairy chested Jewish boy and thought to myself, imagine dating this man. I was 100 percent comfortable with the idea. I didn’t even flinch. I just kept staring and smiling at him. He touched my hands and complimented my Hamsa necklace. Every time my Hamsa charm moved backwards he reached over and flipped it to its proper side. I was already feeling smitten.
After dinner we walked a few storefronts down to an ice cream place. We sat in the ice cream parlor for three hours that Tuesday night. We talked about anything and everything. He noticed all of the jewelry I wore and mentioned his dad’s jewelry store to me. He told me he’d send me the link to his online store and I could pick whatever I wanted.
On our second date he took me to a hibachi restaurant. He kissed me on the forehead, touched my leg, wrapped his arms around me. In his hug I felt safe. Like there’s no where else I would want to be in that moment besides exactly where I was. He made me feel so special. I finally felt like I had met someone worthy, that I didn’t have to be alone anymore.
I was wrong.
As the night progressed, I began to learn more about him. There was a lot of kissing, hugging, being close to each other. My head was in the clouds and I felt myself feeling crazy about him. He told me he smoked weed every day, talked about an ex girlfriend who he thought he would marry. At one point I had this thought rush into my head that told me you can do better than this; I didn’t want to listen to it.
Shortly after our third date the sweetness stopped. The texting ceased until late into the night when I was already asleep. He stopped initiating any type of plans with me. I felt like I had been neglected and abandoned by a person I barely knew.
At first I blamed only myself. That I was too open, too vulnerable; I let go too soon. I expected it to flow smoothly, to hang out at least once every week and to be intimate and really get to know one another. He led me on with words: I want to wake up with you next to me; You’re gorgeous; You’re perfect; I thought I would he alone forever, and then I met you. Actions speak louder than words.
The third time I saw him, we ate breakfast together. I learned even more about him like how he gets angry when he tries to give a cashier change after she punches the amount in and she tells him no. Then he mutters things under his breath like “She can’t count change in her head. Can you believe this? That’s why she’s back there and I run my own business.” I was shocked and horrified by his comments. I was a cashier once, too. I worked at a deli with a college degree. I told him to be nice and not to be mean and he said to me, “If you think that’s mean, you don’t know shit.”
He left a bad taste in my mouth after our third meeting but I decided to let my feelings for him override any questionable behaviors he was exhibiting. I even mentioned to him how I felt like he didn’t like me anymore and on our third date he said, “You really thought I didn’t like you anymore? You didn’t do anything for me not to like you.”
And then we never spoke again.